Sunday, 3 February 2013

Arabesque

ARABESQUE

Noun, adjective & verb. M17. 
[French from Italian arabesco, from arabo Arab + Italian esco from medieval Latin -iscus

A noun.
1 Decorative work of a kind which originated in Arabic or Moorish art, consisting of flowing lines of branches, leaves, scrollwork, etc, fancifully intertwined; an ornamental design of this kind. M17.

2 Vernacular Arabic. Obsolete. Only in L18.

3 Ballet. A posture in which the body is bent forwards and supported on one leg with the other leg extended horizontally backwards, with the arms extended one forwards and one backwards. M19.

4 Music. A passage or composition with fanciful ornamentation of the melody. 

B Adjective.
Of ornamental design: decorated in arabesque, of the nature of arabesque. M19.

C verb trans.
Ornament in arabesque. L18.  

Sometimes a word carries a beauty all of its own, regardless of its meaning. This is something very personal. Ever since I was a child, the word arabesque has carried a special elegance and allure. In this case, however, its beauty is not divorced from its meaning, as arabesque does indeed signify things of exceptional beauty, from the arabesque ballet pose, to its description of Islamic and Arabian art, architecture and ornamentation.


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